John Paul Bray


It is with deep affection & sadness the family announces the
passing of Joseph Francois Jean Paul Bray at the age of 98, at his retirement home, Chartwell Wescott, on July 26, 2022. “John Paul” will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Stella; children Gary Bray (Christine), Roxanne Higuchi (Cliff); grandchildren Matthew Bray (Aly), Taylor Bray, Jasen Higuchi (Erin), James Higuchi (Mandy); great-grandchildren (Jasen) Angus, Cadence, and Lena; (James) Riley and J.J.; special niece Debbie Riley (Jim) and brothers Alban (Georgette), Rheal (Paulette) and numerous relatives and friends.

John was born on June 6, 1924, in the small village of Moose Creek, Ontario. He was the oldest of four brothers and three sisters. John started working as a farm hand on
his uncle’s farm at a very early age making 50 cents a week. He then worked for a time in the mines in Northern Ontario. After working many jobs in several provinces, better
opportunities in the west beckoned and he took a train west ending up in Campbell River, BC working in a lumber camp. The discovery of oil in Alberta and the resulting oil
industry enticed him and he was Alberta bound. Initially, he drove an 18-wheeler for Pacific Petroleum in Redwater, Alberta.

One evening, John drove the truck, trailer and all to a dance where he met his love, Stella Kassian. He asked her to dance, and their courtship began leading to their 70-year
marriage. Their first home was a small shack in Redwater beside a flare pit. John started with Murray Mitchell & Gray, an oil consulting firm, and in 1952 they moved to Leduc and lived there for 9 years. Gary was born in 1959, and in 1960 they purchased their first home in Drayton Valley where they lived when Roxanne was born in 1963.

John was moving up the ladder and was required more often to work in Edmonton, so
another move was in the works. They purchased a home in the Capilano area. One night while driving around Edmonton, they stumbled upon a triplex for sale which they decided to buy as a rental. John’s philosophy was “let other people help us pay our mortgage”. John became vice-president of production for Mitchell & Associates and had a successful career with them where he was known as the guy who used his ingenuity and mechanical mind to keep things running smoothly.

John retired at age 65 but didn’t stop working. With even more rental property, he spent many hours as a landlord fixing and repairing things, often using that ingenuity that he was well-known for during his career. For many years during retirement, John enjoyed catching a bus to meet his friends for coffee, at favoured locations around Edmonton.

John was known for his stoic demeanour, hearty laugh and smile that could light up a room. Although John wasn’t much of a traveller, he and Stella did spend several enjoyable years travelling the continent in their motorhome. With John’s declining health, he is now where he wanted to be…until the next time we meet him… on the other side. We loved him deeply and will miss him forever.

By John’s request, no service will be held. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in the name of Jean Paul Bray, to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, at
1-877-882-2582 or Alzheimer Society Alberta at 1-866-950-5465.

The family wishes to send a special thank you to the management and staff of Chartwell Wescott, Windermere for their great care and compassion in caring for John while a
resident of the Memory Living neighbourhood.

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10 Condolences

Ted & Marion Gladysz

Dear Stella, Gary, Roxanne and family,
There are no words to express our sadness in the loss of John. We hope that you find some comfort in knowing that others share in your grief at this most difficult time. He will be missed.

Ted Gladysz

It began for me on a rough road 70 miles north of Ft. St. John, B.C., when I met John Paul Bray for the first time driving his Mercedes Benz; such a sight to see on this oil and gas cut line through the bush. I had a job operating wells in the area but on that particular day John Bray made me an offer that I couldn’t refuse so I was now employed by Mitchell & Associates hence started our life-long friendship. Our families became swift friends also.
He became my boss for the next several years. We took many field trips together throughout Alberta, B.C., and Saskatchewan. We always stopped for John’s favourite lunch being soup and a sandwich. Soup was the only item on John’s daily menu.
I can say that I never heard John complain. He and I never had one argument during all of our time spent together. He was a first class gentleman to all who knew him.
Cheers my ol friend and I toast you with a scotch/neat!

Robin Lane

Stella, Gary and Roxanne: What a privilege and honor for you to have had this special man in your lives for so many years. Hope all your cherished memories with him help you through this sad time.

Gene & Nora Chevigny

To Stella and all your family Our deepest and heartfelt sympathy to all. We didn’t get to know John well but he had a great smile and you could see the love in his eyes for his family.Sunrise village will miss him and we will look after Stella.

Judy Rivard

It was an honor to have met John. He was such a great guy! You took such good care of him Stella. He will be greatly missed.

Joyce and Peter Simard

John was a great friend to us! Peter loved to hear his stories of things he had done in his lifetime and often said that if he could have published a book, it would have been a bestseller! We will miss you John and hope you’re at peace!

Debbie J. Schultz

Stella, Gary, Roxanne and extended family, may your love for each other comfort you through your time of grief and loss. Know John is always with you in Spiritual form and he is one with the Creator whose love and joy is magnificent beyond words and understanding. Be gentle with yourself and know you are loved. May Spirit’s warming love embrace you all. John is now Divine energy and with you at all times, omnipresent and omnipotent … timeless and most powerful ….peace, love and blessings bestowed onto you all.

Bev & Bob Mettlewsky & family

Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Alban, Georgette, Roy, Alain & Chantal and families

Dear Aunt Stella, Roxanne and Gary and families – our deepest condolences and apologies to not be able to be with you during this difficult time. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Your niece Suzanne

My heartfelt condolence to all those who loved Uncle John Paul. Though I loved him from afar I was honoured to be part of his family. He lives in our hearts.